NEWS | Aug. 23, 2018

Operation Deep Freeze Season Kicks of Early September

By Pacific Air Forces public affairsPacific Air Forces public affairs

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii -- Operation Deep Freeze (ODF), the Department of Defense’s logistical support to the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) U.S. Antarctic Program (USAP), 2018 – 2019 season kicks off Sept. 1, 2018.

The ODF seasons run annually from September 1st to July 31st. This timeframe allows the NSF’s research teams and partnered entities the safest and most efficient method of accomplishing their joint goals. It's through the careful teamwork and monitoring of environmental conditions, which the journey to and time spent, at the worlds coldest, windiest, and most inhospitable continent, is possible.

The ODF 2018-2019 season’s first mission, a winter fly-in, or WinFly mission, is scheduled to take place Sept. 1, 2018. WinFly’s are scheduled at the end of the Antarctic Winter and bring cargo and personnel to prepare runways and airfields for the anticipated heavy traffic of the upcoming season. A Joint Base Lewis-McChord C-17 Globemaster III is scheduled to travel from Christchurch, New Zealand to McMurdo Station, Antarctica.

Since 1955, the U.S. military has demonstrated its capabilities to support the USAP’s operations in Antarctica, the world’s most austere environment.

Led by Pacific Air Forces, the Joint Task Force-Support Forces Antarctica (JTF-SFA) provides USAP military support, comprised of active duty, National Guard and Reserve; U.S. Air Force, Coast Guard, Navy and Army personnel.

JTF-SFA coordinates strategic inter-theater airlift, tactical deep field support, aeromedical evacuation support, search and rescue response, sealift, seaport access, bulk fuel supply logistics, port cargo handling and transportation requirements.

“The polar experience, dedication and operational flexibility of the military men and women supporting JTF-SFA are simply unmatched,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Jamielyn Thompson, JTF-SFA deputy commander. “Mother Nature continues to challenge our access to the harsh continent; yet, we are able to meet mission demands thru incredible teamwork with the National Science Foundation and international partners. This collaboration and the pure ‘Global Reach’ of ODF will ensure we continue to be at the leading edge of scientific discoveries.”

Airlift for ODF involves U.S. Air Force active duty, Reserve and National Guard including C-17 Globemaster III support assigned to Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wa., LC-130 Hercules support assigned to the New York Air National Guard, sealift support from the U.S. Coast Guard and Military Sealift Command, engineering and aviation services from U.S. Navy Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, cargo handling from the U.S. Navy, and public health and veterinary services support from the U.S. Army.